April 5th – National Caramel Day
When we first learned of Susan Cox, owner of Sussie’s in Marks, Mississippi, we immediately learned about her famous caramel cake. Susan started out as a wholesale baker to larger stores but opened up a retail store in 2000. Susan recommends baking the cake in a 9-x-13-inch pan and pouring the icing over the cake. She undercooks the icing so it’s a perfect pourable consistency. We think this is a great cake recipe for any icing.
Sussie’s Famous Caramel Cake Recipe
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour or 2 1/8 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Easy Caramel Icing
Garnish: pecan halves and grated orange peel
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together shortening and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine milk and flavorings. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating well after each addition. Ladle batter into prepared pans, dividing equally . Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cake layers cool for 10 minutes in pans. Invert onto cooling racks and let cool completely. Frost cake with Easy Caramel Icing, Garnish with pecan halves and grated orange peel if desired.
Easy Caramel Icing
1 cup butter
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons white corn syrup
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a 3-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over low heat , stirring until ingredients are dissolved. Continue to stir until mixture reaches desired caramel color. For a thick, spreadable icing, cook mixture until it reaches the soft ball stage, 234 to 240 degrees F. Less cooking time will produce a thinner, pourable icing that will thicken as it cools. Remove icing from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl to cool until lukewarm. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until icing is thick and creamy. If icing becomes too thick, thin with a small amount of corn syrup or milk.
Recipe: Southern Lady’s “Taste of the South” Spring 2005 magazine; Image via MyRecipes.com
More Caramel Recipes!